KC Chiefs deserve a game on NFL’s Thanksgiving schedule

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 20: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the field after a win over the Los Angles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 20: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the field after a win over the Los Angles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs deserve the honors of playing on the NFL’s Thanksgiving day schedule.

Let me set the scene for you, Chiefs fans: It is the morning of Thanksgiving. It is a cool crisp day outside. The smells of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and three different types of pie are wafting through the house.

You are home and feel like relaxing after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while watching some highly competitive and extremely entertaining football. And what do the football gods decide to bless you with on this holiday that is synonymous with football more than any other? Why, the Lions of course.

Just encase that tryptophan from the turkey you just scarfed down doesn’t make you drowsy enough to fall asleep, the Lions most certainly will. For some reason, which escapes my grasp, perhaps during the first Thanksgiving dinner between the pilgrims and the Native Americans,  the Cowboys and the Lions were chosen to be the traditional teams to play on Thanksgiving.

Now, the Cowboys I get, I suppose. Someone arbitrarily decided that the Cowboys were America’s Team (again, not sure how that got decided, but whatever) and so I guess that grants them the privilege of playing every year on Thanksgiving day. But the Lions? C’mon!

Listen, I am really not trying to attack these two teams or their fan bases, I am just pointing out that everyone is home from work while spending time with family, and they should not be tortured by mediocre football simply because tradition mandates it. I understand the Lions have been hosting Thanksgiving games since 1934, but Just because we have done something for years and years doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it.

With both the Cowboys and Giants holding 7-3 records (and their game on Thanksgiving will help decide the NFC East division), I can see the relevance of this game, and no doubt the 3:30 p.m. time slot, while most people are in food comas in front of the TV, will draw a strong and probably lethargic viewership. However, do we really need to see the Bills stomp all over the Lions, simply because it is tradition? Were it any other day but Thanksgiving, this game would probably have a noon kickoff and find itself mixed in with the other 8-10 games happening at the same time. It most certainly would not be the only football offering on a day when everyone is home in front of the tube.

The Lions haven’t been relevant in time out of mind (other than a couple of recent years they made it to the playoffs and were quickly dispatched), so what have they done to deserve the privilege, nay, the honor of being one of only three NFL football games during Thanksgiving?

The present Lions are sitting on a 4-6 record, and are 4 games behind the division-leading Vikings, so this game utterly lacks relevance for the race in the NFC, whether the Lions lose or not. The only thing that could give this game relevance is if the Bills somehow lost, which probably won’t happen.

At this point, you are probably asking yourselves, “Cameron, if you don’t want the Lions playing, then who should play?” Well, I was thinking the Kansas City Chiefs.

I truly do not believe it to be a reflection of my regional bias when I state that the Chiefs are one of the most competitive and entertaining teams to watch in the league. They’re also one of the most viewed teams in the NFL in terms of TV ratings. It’s a fact bolstered by the fact that the Chiefs will max out their primetime opportunities this year.

The Thanksgiving Day game should be approached like an award system. What teams deserve to play on Thanksgiving? What teams will draw the most views (making the most money) from the masses who are all sitting at home digesting turkey legs and stuffing? This year, that team is the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs are currently sitting on the top of their division, with a stranglehold on the AFC West, and we do not see any signs of them relinquishing their grip, which would make them divisional champs for the seventh consecutive year. Patrick Mahomes is yet again the front-runner for league MVP, and the team has the look of a Super Bowl contenders once again, which could give them three appearances in four seasons.

The Chiefs team boasts such superstars as Chris Jones on defense and Mahomes and football’s best tight end Travis Kelce on offense, players who everyone loves to watch at their craft, combined with the coaching brilliance of Andy Reid, you have all the ingredients for a Thanksgiving feast of a game that would entertain everyone—not just Chiefs Kingdom.

Not only do I think the Chiefs would be a better choice for one of this year’s Thanksgiving teams, but I think a strong argument could be made for the Chiefs to become one of the thanksgiving teams moving forward. For the last several years (certainly ever since Mahomes became the starter), the Chiefs have been one of the most competitive and entertaining teams in the league.

The Chiefs are annually discussed as Super Bowl favorites, and Mahomes is regularly in the conversation for league MVP. In my humble opinion, everyone is at home grazing on delicious food and the TV is on, so shouldn’t the Thanksgiving game be one of great entertainment value? Am I saying the Chiefs have always been the prime cut for entertainment value, of course not, but they are now, and thanks to the extensions for Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and Brett Veach, it is almost guaranteed that the Chiefs will be one of the best and most entertaining teams in the league for the foreseeable future.